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Ohio State Economists Create Player Pay Model

April 17, 2020
 
 

The highest-rated college football recruits bring in an average of $650,000 each year to their respective football programs by leading teams to more wins and appearances in elite bowl championships, a study conducted by Ohio State University researchers suggests.

Stephen Bergman, an Ohio State alumnus, and Trevon Logan, an economics professor, examined football-specific revenue for programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the most competitive level of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Bergman and Logan examined revenue against players’ ranking on Rivals, a recruiting news service, and found that “five-star” athletes increased a top team’s probability of appearing in the most lucrative bowl championships by more than 4 percent, according to an Ohio State press release.

Bergman and Logan’s model determined that four-star recruits produced $350,000, and three-star athletes brought in $150,000 for their programs each year, the press release said. The goal of the study is to inform ongoing discussions among lawmakers, the NCAA and other stakeholders about player compensation for their personal celebrity, the researchers wrote in a summary of the study, which will be published in the Journal of Sports Economics.

“There have been a lot of numbers put out there about how much college athletes should get under various compensation proposals,” Logan said in the release. “But it’s hard to do that when you don’t know how players affect the bottom line. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

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